Thursday, November 02, 2017

creating with janna- beginner gelli plate printing

I have been wanting to try Gelli Plate printing for a long time as I had seen so many impressive art work with this kind of printing technique. I wasn´t sure, if I could create the multi layered look myself, but as you will see, the use is super easy and fun - nothing to worry about at all!

Here´s a little introduction to Gelli Plates, just in case you are not familiar with them. The gelatinous printing plates come in different sizes and shapes and are used for monoprinting. Monoprints are multiple prints of which each is unique and can not be repeated in the exact same way. The plates can be cleaned with baby oil and dish soap.

Working with Gelli Plates is easy, usually you would start with a layer (or more) of acrylic paint and add stamps, stencils, papers or natural materials such as leaves, for example, to incorporate texture and patterns into the design. This can be done in many layers.

In my first try, I started with a single layer of acrylic paint and used a wooden pick to create a pattern. I put a piece of paper on top of the plate and pressed it gently. You could use a brayer, too – just make sure to press the paper evenly to get the paint onto the entire paper. As you can see in the pictures, I didn´t press good enough and didn´t get the paint completely on my paper.

Do not use high gloss paper when working with the plates as it could stick to it and even damage the plate. Copy paper is totally fine, if you prefer thicker paper use cardstock or printing paper (or fabric!) instead. 

After cleaning the plate, I used a stencil and white acrylic paint to add a pattern onto the paper. As I applied quite a lot of white acrylic paint to the plate, the paint application on the paper is quite thick – which adds a nice texture to the print.

If the paper is hard to remove from the plate, the paint layer might not have been thick enough or the paint had already started drying. Adding a thicker layer of paint or using a retarder helps to extend the drying process.

After the paint had dried, I added a layer of golden acrylic paint, cut out the paper and adhered it onto cardstock. If you look closely, you can see the great texture and structure the different layers created.

I really loved working with Gelli Plates and it was way easier than I thought in the beginning. The prints can be used on many projects, like cards, mixed media art, art journaling pages, scrapbooking pages, fabric... Gelli Plate printing is a great technique for creating unique and versatile art work and a great tool for beginners, as well as advanced creatives as you can decide yourself how complex the process will be.

I hope this tutorial inspires you to try Gelli Plate printing yourself - make sure to check out Alisa’s many fantastic and inspiring printing tutorials as well.

All the best,

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